WORLD PREMIERE OF A NEW YACHT GENERATION – BMW Group and Belgian Yacht Builder Zeydon present the Z60 cruiser


The independent design subsidiary of the BMW Group has been involved in automotive as well as other cross-segmental design projects from a variety of different industries. The global studio was subsequently commissioned to bring to life Zeydon’s vision of establishing a completely new category of performance-oriented luxury yachts.

Working in close cooperation with Zeydon, BMW Group DesignworksUSA was required to develop an all-out offshore yacht of the 60-foot class that was to combine the sailing potential of a performance offshore yacht with the substantial equipment range and unaffected elegance of a modern luxury cruiser. First and foremost, the design was to directly express this innovative combination of attributes as the yacht’s characteristic feature. In order to ensure that the design and product development emerged from a virtually organic process, the design studio was involved already in the early conception stage and played a major role in the entire development process. The result is an extraordinary yacht of high design quality, which was presented by both partners at the scenes of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez from 30 September through 4 October and at the Yachtclub Italiano during the Genova Boat Show until 12 October.

Perfect match: Zeydon and BMW Group DesignworksUSA.

Zeydon is an innovative newcomer among European shipyards. Its founders, Ben Van Hool and David Van Nieuwenhove, have fitted the young company with their comprehensive pool of experiences from a related mobility segment. Zeydon is distinguished by a progressive approach to yachting applications that is second to none in the industry. Accordingly, it has become an integral part of Zeydon’s corporate philosophy to take a new approach to conventional assumptions and established construction and production principles and to develop these further. As part of this strategy, the team will systematically weigh up all potential possibilities for transferring knowledge from related mobility segments to the yachting application at hand. Therefore, BMW Group DesignworksUSA with its design principle of “cross-fertilization” was an obvious and appropriate partner.

The studio’s specific approach was the perfect complement to Zeydon’s philosophy of idea transfers from other mobility segments to yachting applications. The principle of “cross fertilization” refers to the process of cross-industry knowledge transfer. “Our great strength lies in the fact that for decades we have been working for top clients in a great variety of industries and over all this time we have always been closely linked to the BMW Group”, says Laurenz Schaffer, Head of the Munich-based European office of BMW Group DesignworksUSA. And continues: “Therefore we have a comprehensive and cross-industrial understanding of mobility which enables us to transfer knowledge and experience from the automobile area into other industries. While doing so, our designers get inspired and experienced through the work for an interesting array of premium brands and products and effectively enable themselves to infuse the design studios of the three BMW Group brands from the outside with their inspirational thinking.”

The special ability of developing tailor-made design concepts in this way made BMW Group DesignworksUSA the perfect partner for Zeydon and the development of the extraordinary Z60. “Choosing the right design partner was one of the most crucial decisions we had to make over the past years. Obviously, we were well aware of the fact that the design of the first yacht would also determine the whole identity of the new Zeydon shipyard”, says Ben van Hool, Zeydon’s founder.

Zeydon design: Character all down the line.

The design of the Zeydon Z60 yacht expresses the extraordinary boatbuilding concept in a striking, elegant and direct manner. The hydrodynamics and the hull design were developed in close cooperation with yacht and boat designer Peter Bosgraaf. Even below the waterline, the Zeydon presents its perfect synthesis of performance and aesthetics. The styling of the hull and the superstructures convey pure dynamics and exhibit maximum design perfection in every detail of the boatbuilding design: the exterior of the Z60 presents regatta-oriented functionality, outstanding seaworthiness and a generously designed deck area. The interior surprises with an equipment range that is commonly associated with much larger yachts and impresses the beholder with the systematic deployment of high-grade materials and design with a focus on precision and perfect functionality right down to the smallest detail. This approach visibly dissolves the dualism of performance and comfort that has been prevalent in the boatbuilding segment and seamlessly merges both concepts, thus creating a convincing overall design. Zeydon also required the Z60’s design to create conspicuous, individual character features, which were to set the yacht clearly apart from the competition and ensure that it could invariably be identified as a Zeydon. Therefore, the yacht received its unique, prominent character lines.

“This project was a wonderful opportunity to launch a new brand in the boatbuilding segment. Due to its innovative and emblematic form language, the Z60 can always be identified as a Zeydon and as a yacht with premium performance potential, even from a distance. Moreover, the Z60 is an impressive example of the unique brand building potential of design”, says Laurenz Schaffer.

The WYSIWYG Performance: What You See Is What You Get.

Following the development of the design concept and the completion of a prolonged, perfection-driven joint production phase, Zeydon finally set out to prove the successful implementation of all aspired performance characteristics at competitive level when the yacht was presented offshore in July 2008: in all tests conducted so far, the Zeydon Z60 has performed flawlessly. On average, the Z60 is faster than 13 knots, which is the speed calculated during model tests, and achieves downwind speeds of up to 23 knots. The yacht tracks 23° close to the wind at a reasonable speed of 10 knots and easily accelerates to speeds of between 10 to 13 knots when driven by an engine.

The customer will discover a unique yacht with a spacious, comfortable and relaxing feel and he or she will certainly experience the Z60 to be both easy and sportsmanlike sailing, emanating reliability and luxury. It is no surprise that Zeydon chose a breathtaking shade of blue for their first yacht to be presented to the public this fall, a rather clear statement of the boat builder’s focus on innovation and the aspiration to bring a fresh breeze to the yachting segment. “Zeydon is different – we chose the color blue because it perfectly communicates the characteristics that determine our corporate identity: progressiveness, originality, courage, strict authenticity and infinite emotion”, van Hool explains.Zeydon has announced its plans to build between five and eight yachts every year.

Zeydon – Up-and-coming Belgian yacht yard.

Zeydon is a Belgian boat builder, building semi-custom luxury sailing yachts, with a unique design ranging from 60 to 100 foot. Zeydon was established in 2004 in Antwerp, Belgium and is proud to finally put Antwerp, a world port and diamond centre and a city of fashion designers onto the world map of high quality and luxury sailing yacht builders. Zeydon was founded by transportation expert Ben van Hool who together with his team developed a highly distinctive company vision about a contemporary relevant and advanced state-of-the-art sailing yacht.

MW Group DesignworksUSA: Design perfection beyond the spotlight.

BMW Group DesignworksUSA is a subsidiary of BMW Group. Founded in 1972 in L.A., the center of the vibrant Californian lifestyle and design industry, the studio, then called “Designworks USA”, implemented its first projects for BMW Group as early as the 1980s. Even during its starting years, the portfolio of the design studio featured top brands such as Nokia or HP. The studio has always been renowned for its fascinating mixture of strategic competence, sensitive intuition and unlimited creativity and ultimately convinced Zeydon with its passionate designs.


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